My husband is incredibly level-headed. He’s a shelter from the storm, a calming force in the midst of chaos. Of all the times I’ve sought help over a wrong turn (ended up in an entirely different city), something lost (a check for $300), or keys locked in my car (while he was at work,) he can always be counted on for an encouraging word, practical advice, and a way to solve all the problems I so frequently manage to create.
Today, I received the following email from my mom:
UPS will be delivering two boxes. The smaller box is yours and the larger box must be returned. It got sent to you by accident and belongs to a customer. Your box will be coming soon. So don’t open the big one, and tell UPS they have a call tag for it to be returned.
About a week ago, we received a huge box from my mom containing what we presumed were gifts for the children. For various reasons (mostly because I had something to do every day that week, and cannot possibly do one Something on a day I’m doing another Something, even if it involves presents) it sat in our living room, unopened, until yesterday when I had a day void of all activity and could devote my energy to opening the box.
Immediately upon doing so, all the contents came out of their packaging, squeezed and squished and otherwise loved by twelve little hands. Stuffed animals made their way outside (one lost by bedtime, but found again this morning, a little worse for wear by the affection it received by our Great Pyrenees dog.) Tags were removed from clothing, puzzle pieces found new homes under (and inside) our couches, and labels were taken off knick-knacks as we found places to display them.
Then I got her message.
I panicked. I grabbed the kids. “Find everything we took out of that box!!!” My youngest son burst into tears as he faced the prospect of sending back, of all things, our new fruit bowl, and the rest of us rushed from one corner of the house to the other, trying to locate discarded tags, packaging, and labels. It was no use. Even if we could have located all the tags and packages, there was simply no way to put it all back in its original condition.
Practically in tears and overwhelmed by the thought that we had opened a box not meant for us and had probably already lost several pieces to toys that didn’t belong to us, I sent my husband the following text:
Within seconds, the soothing sound of a message rang through my phone. Like Pavlov’s dog, I felt instantly calmed by the knowledge that an encouraging word waited for me, a practical answer to an impossible problem, a virtual hug to let me know everything would, somehow, be okay. I lovingly caressed the screen to open the message that would solve all my problems and offer a viable solution to our dilemma. It read:
Epilogue: As it turned out, the box was for us, it’s a different box that will be coming that will need to be sent back. Thankfully, I have other friends who can be counted on for
encouraging words laughter in the face of life’s problems and we got a good chuckle over the whole situation. :)